This year’s Super Bowl ads seemed a bit different than years past – gone were the Budweiser commercials featuring cute puppies or the beer’s trademark Clydesdales. Instead, the company chose to focus on the donations of water it made following recent natural disasters here in the U.S. Other brands also took a more somber tone, with humanitarian and feel-good narratives. However, humorous commercials remained a Super Bowl staple, with brands such as M&M’s, Doritos and Mountain Dew continuing to lead the way in generating laughs.
By Taylor Lord
This post is bittersweet, as it signals the beginning of an end of an incredible experience. When I first applied for an internship at RLF Communications, I was interested in the hands-on learning and the opportunity to work on different accounts with industry professionals. I could have never imagined all the good times of laughing with my co-workers, playing with the dogs as they roam around the office or heading to the rooftop deck after a long day.
Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t spend the entire internship socializing. Through these short months, I worked on four different client accounts, gaining a greater understanding of what it means to be a PR professional. Each day is different – sometimes, I create media lists or research speaking opportunities. Other days, I write blog posts or find articles to share on Twitter.
By Taylor Lord
Pitching. It’s the reason that reporters have a love-hate relationship with PR specialists. A trick to improve your media relations lies in effectively pitching media outlets without hounding reporters. When thinking of a story idea, make sure you remember to consider tactics to accomplish the three pitching steps: the “before,” the “during,” and the “after.”
Media relations don’t begin by picking up the phone to call an outlet about an intriguing story. You need to establish a relationship first. Just think of the name: “media relations.” It implies a connection between you and the reporter. Before even thinking about dialing or clicking send, plan for the pitch.
Imagine that you are working on a pitch for a new hire release. You create a media list and settle in for a long day of calling. The first outlet answers and, whoops, they only want product releases. If you keep contacting this publication to pitch new associates rather than new products, the reporter begins to think you are simply wasting their time and will ignore you when you do have a new product to pitch.
By Taylor Lord
Ever called a tissue a Kleenex? Or asked a friend to borrow Chap Stick? Brands have infiltrated every aspect of normal life and each one of us is guilty of referring to an object by a trademarked brand name. In a culture that is branded to a T, it’s not surprising that the idea of creating unique and distinctive labels for individuals is a topic that seems to come up constantly.
From seasoned industry professionals to untried college students, people are concerned with their personal brand and how they can stand out from the crowd. Even if you say that you don’t have a personal brand because you don’t post three to five times a day on Twitter, guess what? That reluctance to be active on social media is an integral part of how people perceive you, and thus part of your brand.
Classrooms are an effective way to learn the basics of the communications industry, but companies are always looking for applicants with practical, demonstrated industry experience. This is part of why RLF likes to engage students in our immersion-style internship program. Students can apply their skills on real client accounts, work with both mid-level and senior communications professionals and bring new strengths to the RLF team.
This fall, we welcomed two new interns to our team: Taylor Lord and Camille Vargas. Our second intern spotlight is on Camille Vargas.
“I am majoring in political science and media and journalism, while pursuing minors in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies and medieval and early modern studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I grew up in an extremely tight-knit Italian family in Edison, New Jersey. I love national parks, horses, autobiographies, the ocean and just about anything that involves the word cheese.”
RLF’s internship program gives college students the opportunity to gain real world experience in an integrated communications agency. Over the course of the semester, interns learn practical knowledge by working closely with qualified professionals on a variety of client accounts.
This fall, RLF has two new interns that have joined the team: Taylor Lord and Camille Vargas. Our first intern spotlight is on Taylor Lord.
“I’m a native of the Tar Heel state, born and raised in Raleigh. I am a senior at High Point University, majoring in Spanish and strategic communication.”
As the summer season rages on at RLF and new projects emerge daily, we are grateful to have our innovative, hardworking interns on hand. They have now reached the midway point of the internship program, and we have enjoyed watching them sharpen their skills and become more entwined in our company culture.
Each of our interns has the opportunity to work in different disciplines on a variety of client accounts. Learn more about them and their experience thus far at RLF in our 2017 Intern Spotlight Summer Series.
Our second featured intern of the summer is Bennett Marlow.
“I’m a junior at North Carolina State University and I’m majoring in communications with a concentration in media. I’ve lived in Greensboro my whole life and I love dinosaurs.”